Telecommuting or teleworking are terms for working at home or another location away from the traditional work site. Telecommuting can be an effective trip reduction option every day, once a week, or occasionally. It saves space on our roads by eliminating or minimizing automobile trips.
Telecommuting requires a degree of commitment on the part of both the employer and employee. Some benefits include:
- Improved employee job performance
- Improved employee job satisfaction
- Reduced absenteeism
- Less stress and lower costs associated with commuting
- Expanded opportunities for recruiting and retaining employees
- Better emergency preparedness
Some employers provide remote or satellite offices to reduce an employee’s commute distance. Most telecommuters work from home.
Telecommuting isn’t for every employer, every employee, or every job. But in the right circumstances, the benefits can be marked and measurable.
Telecommuting is well suited for many job tasks, such as:
- Data entry
- Word processing
Telecommuting Tips & Limits
Telecommuting may not be an appropriate trip reduction option for employees whose job requires direct contact with people or machines at the work site. Things to consider include.
- Telecommuting works well for self-motivated, trustworthy, and independent workers who can communicate effectively and are familiar with their job requirements.
- Will working from home or another site distract you from your job? If so, telecommuting may not work for you.
- How can your clients and coworkers reach you? Will phone calls to your office be transferred to another line, or will you check your voicemail throughout the day? Make sure anyone who needs to contact you has your best contact information.
- Do you have space at home or another site for an office?
Will your employer provide a computer or other office equipment? Do you have a fast and dependable internet connection?
- The structure of your telecommuting arrangement can be as formalized or flexible as required for your situation and by your employer.
- Communicate closely and effectively with your supervisor. Outline goals and expectations and check in regularly.
Interested in starting a telecommuting program? The following web sites may be a good place to start with important and useful information:
Telework Resources | The Telework Coalition